Ned Pitts Stepping Down from Olympic Committee Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 00:00

Every year, representatives of the IOC visit two countries in each region to offer recommendations to National Olympic Committees that will help in the development of sports and the spreading of the Olympic values in their country. This year, IOC Member Richard Peterkin, Joanna Zipser-Graves of Olympic Solidarity and National Olympic Committees’ Project Officer Nils Holmegaard visited Belize and Nicaragua. The delegation explained to the media that during their visit they met with Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports, and Presidents of National Federations that form the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association.

The delegation had two main recommendations to the national committee. First is to make it an area of priority to improve transparency in governance and the second is to get more aggressive in pursuit of opportunities for Belize in IOC programs. Peterkin said that while he recognizes that in many nations those National Olympic committees’ executives often go unchallenged it is important to hold elections to be in line with the international Olympic charter. Peterkin said that Pitts signaled to him some months ago that he was leaning towards stepping down from his post in the Association. The delegation believes that Belize is very capable of holding fair elections and they are not of the mindset that international observers will be needed. The delegation’s recommendation to the newly elected committee is that they hire someone to work fulltime at the office of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association. Joanna Zipser-Graves said Belize has missed out on a lot of opportunities to access scholarships for coaches, players and sports administrators over the last few years. They believe that the reason for that is because Belize’s Olympic committee is totally volunteer-based. This will cause Belize to continue to miss out on opportunities. Peterkin said that the visit has made him recognize that Belize has been shortchanged over the years but they can only address funds for the next four years. The IOC has increased Belize’s budget for the next four years by 40%. Peterkin said that Belize can access up to US$1.2 million from the IOC in the next four years.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 13:17